Author Topic: Another water question - too much CaCO3?  (Read 5238 times)

Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2012, 06:06:39 AM »
ukolowiczd,

I finally got to run your numbers. 5 tsp chalk is about 19g and in 9.5 gal water this amounts to 100 ppm Ca and 320 ppm bicarbonate or 260 ppm alkalinity as CaCO3. The residual alkalinity is about 190 ppm. That's on the high side and I doubt that you need that much in your stout.

When you say you want to get to 150 ppm alkalinity, do you mean residual alkalinity? Most likely you do, since that's what matters for us brewers.

Since chalk is actually not all that efficient in raising mash pH it may not matter if you add too much. If half or more of the added chalk doesn't dissolve it will be left behind in the spent grain.

Do you have means of testing mash pH?'

Kai

My 5 tsp calculation all rely upon Palmer's "How to Brew" webpage that states there are 1.8 grams per level tsp of CaCO3. I calculated I needed 9g total but didn't have a scale to measure that fine of a measurement. So I converted it to 5 tsp. Based on your calculations there is a lot more than 1.8 grams per tsp. So it looks like I'll have to take more than a couple of minutes to look at Bru'n water as suggested by mabrungard.

Offline narcout

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2012, 09:19:39 AM »
The technique mentioned in Brewing Better Beer where roasted grain is withheld until the late stage of the mash can be effective in reducing the need for alkalinity in the mash, but it can still leave the pH of the wort in the kettle a little lower than desirable.  So its not always a panacea for proper alkalinity adjustment.

I think to a certain extent, and within reasonable boundaries, "proper alkalinity adjustment" is a matter of personal preference.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2012, 11:20:34 AM »
My 5 tsp calculation all rely upon Palmer's "How to Brew" webpage that states there are 1.8 grams per level tsp of CaCO3. I calculated I needed 9g total but didn't have a scale to measure that fine of a measurement. So I converted it to 5 tsp. Based on your calculations there is a lot more than 1.8 grams per tsp.

ukolowiczd,

1.8g per tsp is much less than I measured. I got about 4.5 g/tsp for chalk. If you look at my water spread sheet (http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculator_US_units.xls) you'll see that at the bottom (row 84 on the basic sheet) you can select the unit in which the salt additions are given. This makes it easier for brewers who don't have a gram scale or if the scale is broken.

On the "constants" tab you can see the per tsp weight for various salts.

Kai

Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2012, 12:06:07 PM »
My 5 tsp calculation all rely upon Palmer's "How to Brew" webpage that states there are 1.8 grams per level tsp of CaCO3. I calculated I needed 9g total but didn't have a scale to measure that fine of a measurement. So I converted it to 5 tsp. Based on your calculations there is a lot more than 1.8 grams per tsp.

ukolowiczd,

1.8g per tsp is much less than I measured. I got about 4.5 g/tsp for chalk. If you look at my water spread sheet (http://braukaiser.com/documents/Kaiser_water_calculator_US_units.xls) you'll see that at the bottom (row 84 on the basic sheet) you can select the unit in which the salt additions are given. This makes it easier for brewers who don't have a gram scale or if the scale is broken.

On the "constants" tab you can see the per tsp weight for various salts.

Kai

Ok so that's 2 tsp. of chalk. That makes way more sense. I'll check out your spreadsheet. Thanks for all the help.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2012, 02:25:02 PM »
I love this stuff!  The only thing a teaspoon is good for is repeatability.  Beyond that, a brewer has no idea what they are adding to their water.  This is not to say that you can't brew that way and be successful.  If you like what a teaspoon of gypsum in 5 gallons of water does for your pale ales, then that is good enough.  You just won't know what that addition is actually producing in your water.

There is a reason why Bru'n Water includes only mass measures, it is the only way that a brewer is going to have any idea of the ionic concentrations in their water. When it comes to any mineral additions that alter RA, you really should use a scale.

PS: Scales are cheap.

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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »
I don't think the imprecision one gets from using teaspoons add opposed to scales matters much in the end. there's already enough error in the pH prediction, for example. And I doubt that one can taste the difference between 100 and 130 ppm sulfate.

Scales break. When mine broke I was glad to know the per tsp won't for the salts. should a brewer delay brewing just b/c the scale had not arrived yet?

Kai

Offline ukolowiczd

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Re: Another water question - too much CaCO3?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2012, 08:04:57 AM »
Ok so I bought a $8 scale that measures to the tenth of a gram and can now mass my salts. I'll also measure out 3 or 4 times a tsp. of various salts, average and record it for the future if my scale breaks. Thanks, this discussion has helped me understand measuring salts better. Let's hope it makes better beer too!